Planet Drupal

How To Start an e-Commerce Site (with Drupal)

When you are ready to start a business online, it is essential that your website is highly functional, user-friendly and well structured. The easiest way to ensure that is to use the right tools for the job. Drupal is a free, open-source content management system (CMS) and publishing platform written in PHP that can run any type of website, in any type of environment (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and FreeBSD). Drupal e-Commerce is a free, open-source, feature-endowed package of modules that adds on a full e-store capabilities to Drupal’s core system.

Drupal e-Commerce is a combination of the Drupal CMS version 5 and the package of e-Commerce modules that get plugged into it. It is also a book that will teach you how to use Drupal, along with how to use the e-Commerce modules to set up and manage your own online shop. It walks you through installing the software, an in-depth look at the features, plan and create the shop, customer management and design tips, security, taxes, shipping and marketing.

The book starts with the basics of Drupal and walks you through starting your own e-shop. This book is for people who are serious about selling online with a proven platform. You can find out more here.

Volacci is a leading Drupal SEO company and very passionate about your online success. By the end of your contract you will have at least as much additional business from your web site as you spend on our services... or we'll work for free until you do.

Volacci.® Your Profit. Our Passion.

Read this article: How To Start an e-Commerce Site (with Drupal)

Drupal 7 Gets New Fields

As content management systems (CMS) grow with the web, the core of their software is redefined for each version released. The consensus CMS favorite here at Volacci, Drupal, just made one of those decisions recently by including a new feature in its Drupal 7 release. The feature will allow CMS administrators to define custom content types, or fields, for its system.

Before its inclusion in the core, the Content Construction Kit (CCK) was an add-on module for Drupal, and handled custom content fields. But for Drupal 7, the add-on module is no longer needed. CCK isn’t being moved into the core. Instead, Drupal has taken a new approach to dealing with new information and will now have extensible content fields options in its core system. It will be called “Fields” and its foundation is the internal re-architecting bundled into an API, which will come with a user interface.

In Drupal, each piece of content in the system is called a “node”, and each node belongs to a type of content. A node may be a blog post, article, or web page. Fields can be assigned to any entity in the system. Both nodes and user entities will be supported by extensible fields. With Drupal 7, Fields can be added, edited and managed straight out of the box. This helps increase the overall functionality and ease-of-use of Drupal for its less than savvy users, and lower the adoption barrier for those tentative to enter the developing niche.

Volacci is the leading Drupal SEO company and very passionate about your online success. By the end of your contract you will have at least as much additional business from your web site as you spend on our services... or we'll work for free until you do.

Volacci.® Your Profit. Our Passion.

Read this article: Drupal 7 Gets New Fields

Drupal SEO’s Swiss Army Knife: Drush

One of the reasons I love Drupal so much is the constant stream of new and updated ways to make my Drupal website and life that much easier. One of the best kept secrets in the Drupal community is Drush, which is short for “DRUpal SHell”. Drush is a command line interface for Drupal that prides itself as the proverbial “swiss army knife” for Drupal developers. This module will improve the workflow for any user by eliminating several steps for each Drupal command. If there is a commonly used task that involves several clicks for a Drupal site, Drush will have a command that shortens the process. This only makes search engine optimization for your Drupal website more efficient.


Drush was originally developed for Drupal 4.7 by Arto. Two years ago, it was adapted and redesigned for Drupal 5 and been maintained ever since to work with all new Drupal versions. The Drush Package Manager allows its user to download, enable, disable, unistall, and update modules/themes/profiles/translations, all from the command line. For example: drupal dl views and drupal enable views in the Drupal directory to install the Views project. Thanks to Drupal’s Drush homepage for the example. The Package Manager also allows you to update all your modules with only one command:drush pm update.

A few other Drush features:

Drupal Core: offers utilities for site administators and developers that are useful

Drupal simpletest commands allows for an easy function of running unit tests from the command line and email any results to the entire development team.

If you are already familiar with Drush, you are probably a fan. You can buy an “I Heart Drush” t-shirt here. I am interested in hearing people's personal experiences and constructive feedback on Drush. If you have a story, tip or insight, let me know by commenting below.

Volacci is the leading Drupal SEO company and very passionate about your online success. By the end of your contract you will have at least as much additional business from your web site as you spend on our services... or we'll work for free until you do.

Volacci.® Your Profit. Our Passion.

Read this article: Drupal SEO’s Swiss Army Knife: Drush

Drupal’s Competition Stiffens with WordPress 2.8

Last week the much anticipated new version of WordPress (version 2.8) was released for download. Many webmasters, bloggers and CMS fans alike have come to expect great things out of the seasoned system, so the expectations were high. According to the earliest reports, WordPress 2.8 not only lives up to the hype, it presents some stiff competition for Volacci’s favorite platform, Drupal.

WordPress 2.8 is unofficially named “Baker”, after the late great trumpeter and vocalist Chet Baker. Apparently, “Baker” has undergone major updates and over 700 bug fixes that improve themes, widgets, taxonomies and overall speed. WordPress has changed the way it handles style and scripting, allowing the system to process faster. It’s new interface allows users to edit widgets at will, have multiple copies of the same widget, the ability to drag and drop widgets in and between sidebars, and save inactive widgets without losing any settings.

The MVP of the upgrade is the theme browser that now allows users to search for themes based on colors, preferred number of columns, and a fixed or flexible width for the theme. All of these features can be accessed in the dashboard. Filters can now be selected and installed with ease. If you have a mobile finger, WordPress 2.8 will suit you well.

For those Drupal fans out there, please don’t be frightened. Many wise men have said to unwise listeners: “Some of the greatest achievements are accomplished when faced with a worthy adversary. Volacci is the leading Drupal SEO company and very passionate about your online success. By the end of your contract you will have at least as much additional business from your web site as you spend on our services... or we'll work for free until you do.

Volacci.® Your Profit. Our Passion.

Read this article: Drupal’s Competition Stiffens with WordPress 2.8

Drupal vs. eZ Publish

When it comes to crowning the king of content management systems, the debate is always heated and someone goes home with a sore thumb. Agree to disagree, as they say. What people can agree on is that different content management systems have their strengths and, given the context of the project, may be better fits than others. The SEO-hungry folks here at Volacci are firm believers in Drupal’s CMS, the little blue man in the suit. But to be fair, let’s take a look at how Drupal and it’s competitor, eZ Publish, compare side by side.

eZ Publish eZ Publish is a content management (eco)system that doesn’t lack in sophistication. It is backed by a commercial entity, eZ Systems, whose open source format boasts of being the world’s largest Open Source Content Management software company. The strengths of eZ Publish include a flexible admin, which allows the user a simple approach to content management with a toolbar, or a heavily featured administrative back office, commercial support with extensions that allow easy implementation of workflow. eZ Publish also has invested a great deal in their web publishing space to meet the needs of online publishers. Their eZ Flow add-on allows the sophisticated content controls that anyone in the management position would appreciate. 
Unfortunately, eZ Publish doesn’t have as strong social media or community features and is more difficult to implement extensions. To be fair, eZ Publish is coming out of a strong restructuring and active development phase from last year. Drupal Drupal has many strengths, including the aforementioned social media and community features to allow a high level of UGC that it can handle. Drupal has amazing admin controls and modules that can allow any member of the content team to independently contribute from any approved station. Drupal also offers an extensive library of customizable modules for rapid prototyping and implementation. Their features tend to be very fast and always ready to hit their energetic community with familiarity. Drupal also encourages its highly engaged community to take their tools and customizing them ever more. Innovation helps drive Drupal’s success as a insanely popular content management system. When you are choosing the content management system for your company, client or project, be sure to do your homework. Find the CMS that fits your need and skill level. Drupal is a great CMS for any project, from a personal blog to a corporate site. If you need some help or advice, don't hesitate to contact us. Volacci is the leading Drupal SEO company and very passionate about your online success. Volacci.® Your Profit. Our Passion.

Read this article: Drupal vs. eZ Publish

SEO Keys For Choosing a CMS

Search engine optimization can be an absolutely terrifying concept when viewed from afar. The time commitment and knowledge necessary for a highly-optimized site can stimie even the most seasoned CMO. So when it comes to starting that inevitable transition to the web, you can save a lifetime of stress and mistakes by choosing the right content management system (CMS) for your business. The right CMS can make SEO easy, or seemingly impossible, depending upon your decision. Here are some keys to choosing the right CMS for your online presence.


Control over titles, headings and meta descriptions

It is almost SEO blasphemy that there are CMS’ that don’t allow you the control over these are basic page elements. What makes it even worse is that said vendors will charge you extra “customization” fees to change these elements. If a vendor charges anything for these capabilities, get the frakk out of there.

Control over duplicate content

Duplicate content is one of the most common mistakes made on websites. Great CMS’ will either avoid these problems all together, or proactively give you a way to deal with them.

Custom anchor text

Make sure that the CMS you use allows you to customize your anchor text. Many systems cannot do this, so do not assume that you have these capabilities.

Image alt attributes

Image alt attributes are the best method you have to tell a search engine what the image on your site is about. This capability is a must-have, so the ability to implement the alt attribute within your image tags is essential to a great CMS.

Customizable URL structure

Your SEO team or firm is the only group who should be deciding the URL structure of your website. If a vendor or CMS service does not allow you control over this, get the frakk out of there.

Sitemap generation

Having an XML sitemap for your site is absolutely essential for any website. Make sure you have a CMS that can help to create one.

Making sure that you are investing in a search-friendly CMS system is the most important decision you can make with your website. A great search-friendly CMS is Drupal, a free, open source content management platform that supports a variety of websites ranging from personal blogs to community-driven websites. Volacci is the leading Drupal SEO company and very passionate about your online success. By the end of your contract you will have at least as much additional business from your web site as you spend on our services... or we'll work for free until you do.

Volacci.® Your Profit. Our Passion.

Read this article: SEO Keys For Choosing a CMS

Lullabot “Drupal Voices” Feature Volacci’s Ben Finklea

I would like to extend a gracious and humble ‘Thank You’ to Lullabot for the “Drupal Voices” feature they ran this past Wednesday of a podcast I had recorded with them on SEO for Drupal. If you haven’t gotten to hear the 13 minutes of expertise, check it out here.


Lullabot is a collection of Drupal experts who write books, articles, publish videos and roll out podcasts about everything Drupal and building web sites in general. They have helped in their own special ways in the development of sites for MTV UK, Sony Records, the George Lucas Educational Foundation and Ringo Starr. “Drupal Voices” is their short daily interview snippets of people doing work within the Drupal community.

Volacci is the leading Drupal SEO company and very passionate about your online success. By the end of your contract you will have at least as much additional business from your web site as you spend on our services... or we'll work for free until you do.

Volacci.® Your Profit. Our Passion.

Read this article: Lullabot “Drupal Voices” Feature Volacci’s Ben Finklea

Drupal Wins Webware 100 Honor

For the third year in a row, Drupal was named a winner of CNET’s Webware 100. Drupal won in the “Social and Publishing” category as one of the top 100 web 2.0 services and applications, along with Facebook, Twitter, and seven other services. The way the Webware 100 winners are chosen is by a popular vote from a large group that was picked by CNET’s editors.

As you may know, Drupal is a popular publishing and content management system that allows users to add all categories of content to web pages through a variety of modules. It is a free, open-source software that is used on a number of popular sites, such as The Onion, the satirical news publication, as well as the United Kingdom’s MTV website.


The award speaks for itself. Drupal is growing steadily as a user-friendly platform for any person or business to launch their online presence. In addition to a great CMS, anyone who has the resources to optimize, but not the knowledge, they may want to invest in a white hat search engine optimization firm to partner with them for search engine success.

Volacci is the leading Drupal SEO company and very passionate about your online success. By the end of your contract you will have at least as much additional business from your web site as you spend on our services... or we'll work for free until you do.

Volacci.® Your Profit. Our Passion.

Read this article: Drupal Wins Webware 100 Honor

Why Drupal Should Be Your CMS

If you are starting a new website, whether it be personal or business-related, but are not considered “skilled” in HTML or web development, it is a highly recommended that you use a content management system (CMS). A content management system is a software system that allows you to create, manage, edit, and update new and existing pages on a site. Basically, its the easiest and most efficient way to launch a website... yesterday.

Content management systems will allow you to perform basic design and layout. This includes a logo or banner at the top, standard navigation capabilities across the top, down the left side and in the footer. There will also be a large blank area where your content should be inserted, upon creation. This layout format, once tweaked to your liking, is converted into a master template for all designated pages. While this template is being converted, your CMS admin backend is being integrated and tested properly. The Administrator can then assign content producers and give them access and instructions on how to add content, text, images, and video appropriately. Everything that is added is saved in the database. Most CMSes are very intuitive and easy to operate, so the learning curve is much smaller than learning how to write HTML code by hand.


Every new venture required some start-up capital and launching a website is no different. You will want to find the right content management system for you, for the right price. There are proprietary CMSes that come loaded with features and have excellent customer service and tech support. However, they can cost up to $500,000 (yowzas!) and sometimes require a down payment of your soul. Sure, they can perform some unique functions, like archives and built-in search engines, but aren’t necessary for running a profitable or popular site.

Open Source CMSes are typically free and very easy to install and use. The best open source CMS available out there is Drupal. The Drupal community is very large and friendly, allowing a breadth of customer and tech support, as well as a healthy community of forums dedicated to the popular system. Drupal also has a large catalog of modules and nodes that can be customized and added on to the core of Drupal, so customization is very easy and highly encouraged. Volacci is the leading Drupal SEO company and very passionate about your online success. By the end of your contract you will have at least as much additional business from your web site as you spend on our services... or we'll work for free until you do.

Volacci.® Your Profit. Our Passion.

Read this article: Why Drupal Should Be Your CMS

Drupal Clones: Better than Star Wars?

There are only a handful of things Volaccians love more than Star Wars, and one of them is Drupal. Drupal is an awesome content management system for any company wanting to build a website or seven. It’s uses range from a simple blog to an extensive corporate or political site for any fevered advocate. Drupal is the swiss army knife of web site construction, and I recently ran across an impressive article by Glenn of Web Jackalope on the different clones that Drupal can be used for, you can read the entire post here. The greatest thing about the post is that it lacks the impatient whining of Anakin Skywalker, something that any original trilogy fan would use their time machine to go back and change.


Digg Clone

To clone a site like Digg, you just need to allow users to submit links to content, vote, comment and moderate the submitted links. Drupal’s Drigg allows you to all of these things in one module. Drigg will create a voting site that is identical to Digg that allows any user to submit links, vote, share, etc.

Twitter Clone

If you can’t get enough of Twitter, you are in luck my Drupal friend. Drupal has a microblogging module that can copy almost all the features of Twitter: micro-messaging, following, timelines, and community cross-platform messaging.

Flickr Clone

Combine the internet with the accessibility to digital cameras and everyone’s Annie Leibovitz. Now you can have your own online photo gallery in the vein of Flickr or Photobucket with Drupal’s Image module. this module allows you to upload images, create thumbnails and set up galleries for your visitors to view and comment on.

YouTube Clone

Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine on the internet, second only to Google? If you don’t believe me, google it. Drupal gives you the opportunity, but not the ambition, to create your own video sharing site like YouTube. FlashVideo is a module that will give your Drupal website the functionality to convert uploaded files to flash. FlashVideo also has the ability to embed the videos onto all the other social networking sites that you plaster with content.

Amazon Clone

Want to sell some stuff? Drupal has a few tremendous ecommerce modules that are capable of helping recreate an Amazon clone. e-Commerce and Ubercart provide a great feature list that can help you become the next internet millionaire.

These are just a few Drupal clones that Glen from Web Jackalope discussed, and just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Drupal modules. Drupal is an amazing content management system that is growing and adapting with its users needs. It is very easy to use and allows incredible access to any third-party user with an idea and ambition. Volacci is the leading Drupal SEO company and very passionate about your online success. By the end of your contract you will have at least as much additional business from your web site as you spend on our services... or we'll work for free until you do.

Volacci.® Your Profit. Our Passion.

Read this article: Drupal Clones: Better than Star Wars?

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